How well do you know your consumer rights?

We are now 6 months on since the Consumer Rights Act 2015, the biggest revamp of consumer law, came into effect. However, if you were to buy a faulty washing machine tomorrow, would you know your rights and what action to take?

The aim of the Consumer Rights Act is to simpfly and modernise the law and give you clearer shopping rights.

It isn’t possible in this short article to explain in detail all of the changes and new rights created but here are a few highlights:

New 30 day period to reject faulty goods

There is now a specific timeframe in which you can reject faulty items and be entitled to a full refund. The item has to be faulty. You can’t use this right just because you have changed your mind. You also have to act quickly as the time period is 30 days from the date you buy the item.

If a fault occurs in the first 6 months after purchase

If you discover a fault in an item within the first 6 months after purchase, it is presumed that it has been there since the item was purchased unless the seller can prove otherwise. You have to give the seller one opportunity to repair or replace the item; you can say which option you would prefer but the seller can normally choose whichever option is cheaper. If the repair or replacement fails, you can reject the item and seek a full refund or keep the item and ask for a price reduction.

If the fault occurs after 6 months

After 6 months, the burden is on you to prove that the item was faulty at the time you bought it. You may need to get an independent report from an expert to prove this.

Digital content

You have the same rights for digital content as physical items; the digital content must be of satisfactory quality, fit for the purpose and as described by the seller. If the digital content doesn’t comply with this criteria, you can ask for it to repaired or replaced.

If the repair or replacement doesn’t fix the problem, you can ask for a price reduction which can be up to 100% of the purchase price. If the faulty digital content damages your device or other digital content belonging to you, you can seek compensation from the seller for this.

Don’t forget that if you buy items online you have additional rights under the Consumer Cancellation Regulations.

If you are having a problem with a shop over a faulty item or need any further advice on your consumer rights, whether you have bought from a shop or online, then contact our dispute resolution specialist Tracey  Ashford on 01562 512484 or

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